The Heart of the Internet
by Jacques Vallee, Ph.D.
An Insider's View of the Origin and
Promise of the On-Line Revolution
Jacques Vallee was among the engineers and visionaries who set up the Internet, hoping to connect people--not control them--through information. For a few years, it seemed that this dream was being realized. But after the dot com crash of 2001, much of the Web's information flowed into the media giants and corporate conglomerates, leaving millions of Net denizens without true freedom of choice. And then there is the threat of government snooping. . . .
All is not lost, but it is time for public and private actions to rebuild the dream and win back our freedom. In The Heart of the Internet, Vallee:
* reconstructs the history of computer technology and destroys a few myths...
* uses first-person recollections and notes to describe the series of breakthroughs that transformed computers from calculating machines to universal platforms for new media;
* describes the internet in today's marketplace, pressured on the one hand by commercial interests seeking to influence not merely our purchases but our thoughts, and on the other by governmental obsession to harness the whole system to its own narrow definitions of security--sacrificing our privacy and possibly our freedom in the process;
* states a set of principles for network citizens and suggests how we can create new standards for Internet usage.